This week one of our nation's largest LNG processing facilities will be officially opened. Shipments from the IMPEX Ichthys project started a couple of weeks ago, and this week we look forward to welcoming the Japanese Prime Minister, other Japanese officials and IMPEX officials to officially open the IMPEX project.
Senator BROCKMAN (Western Australia) (14:51):
My question is to the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Senator Canavan. Could the minister please inform the Senate of any upcoming developments in the resources industry?
Senator CANAVAN (Queensland—Minister for Resources and Northern Australia) (14:52):
This is a landmark week for our country's resources industry. This week one of our nation's largest LNG processing facilities will be officially opened. Shipments from the IMPEX Ichthys project started a couple of weeks ago, and this week we look forward to welcoming the Japanese Prime Minister, other Japanese officials and IMPEX officials to officially open the IMPEX project. This is a landmark for the resources sector. It is also a landmark in the relationship between our two nations, which is already an incredibly strong one but which is being strengthened with this very important investment. This investment in the IMPEX project is the largest foreign investment by a Japanese company anywhere in the globe, and I think it is incredibly reflective of the strength of our two nations that this investment is occurring, in part, in Darwin, where we will welcome the first visit from a Japanese Prime Minister to Australia in history this week.
I also pay tribute to the Territorians who have helped build this project. It is the largest investment project in the Northern Territory and an incredibly important contributor to their economy. It has established Darwin, in particular, as a very important resources hub for our nation. It's an exporter of a huge amount of wealth and a creator of jobs. It is something we hope to build on in coming years with future resource projects in the Territory and elsewhere. There is so much expertise now in the Northern Territory that we can use as a platform to make the Northern Territory a stronger economy, to strengthen its relationships with Asian neighbours to the north and to take advantage of the enormous opportunities occurring in our part of the world with economic growth and economic development.
Senator Brockman, a supplementary question.
Senator BROCKMAN (Western Australia) (14:54):
Minister, what are the flow-on benefits for the local community?
Senator CANAVAN (Queensland—Minister for Resources and Northern Australia) (14:54):
Of course there has been an enormous amount of employment to deliver this important project. At the peak of the project, 10,000 people were employed on this particular site, but I'd like to, in the limited time I have, particularly focus on the benefits to the local Indigenous community. As I said, it's been the largest project in the Northern Territory's history, and that has meant that throughout the project 1,471 Indigenous Australians have been provided with employment and 62 Aboriginal businesses have been contracted to work with the project, and those contracts have amounted to $175 million in value. It has been one of the most enormous benefits to Indigenous Australians from a specific project in our nation's history. Tomorrow, I will have the honour of joining INPEX as they sign an agreement with the Larrakia people, a $24 million investment to provide further benefits to the local Indigenous community over the next 40 years.
Senator Brockman, a final supplementary question.
Senator BROCKMAN (Western Australia) (14:55):
Minister, what does this mean for global demand for Australia's resources?
Senator CANAVAN (Queensland—Minister for Resources and Northern Australia) (14:55):
This particular project and the Prelude project in the west bring to culmination a period of $200 billion of investment in Australian gas. Those investments will take Australia to be the world's largest exporter of LNG, something to take great pride in. I know Senator Brockman is a great supporter of the contribution that the Western Australian gas industry makes to these results for all Australians. The good news is that the demand for this product is continuing to grow. Yesterday's World Energy Outlook, released by the International Energy Agency, shows that Australia's LNG exports are expected to double from their current levels by 2040. There are enormous future opportunities for Darwin, for Western Australia and for our whole country if we continue to have the policy settings right to attract investment into liquid natural gas and continue to provide those thousands of jobs to Australians. It will particularly help our First Australians get ahead, get jobs and start businesses.